As a pro I spend much of my day dedicated to being a jock. Training, eating, swearing, general jock activities. I do spend a tiny amount of time on nerd activities, one such nerd activity being reading. One thing I love reading about is other athletes and especially Kenyans. For those of you who don’t know they are quite good at running. Obviously I am very glad they don’t have much in the way of pools or bikes over there so my job is safe.
My second favorite book about Kenyan running, Run to Win by Jurg Wirz, features a section about influential coaches. Italian coach Gabriele Rosa has helped craft many successful running careers (Paul Tergat, Moses Tanui, Robert Cheruiyot, etc). He is a true expert (as opposed to a self declared expert).
In his comments on marathon training, Dr. Rosa used a concept that is common among triathletes: quality over quantity. It would seem an expert opinion validates this widely held belief. Dr. Rosa explains the limit on ‘quantity’ with regard to marathon training:
“For me, the quality is always much more important than the quantity. I think even top marathon runners don’t need to run more than 240 kilometers a week but they have to go on a regular basis for long runs over 30, 35, and even 38 kilometers. For our runners, these long runs are never slow.”
240 k/week. 145ish miles/week.